Many people have heard of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, but did you know that there are large salt plains in Oklahoma? The Oklahoma Salt Plains, located in North-Central Oklahoma, is a large salt flat that spans for over 50 square miles. Millions of years ago, the Atlantic Ocean submerged this area, but water levels gradually receded, leaving the salt behind.
Salt Plains Selenide Digging
Here is a video of my experience: https://youtu.be/y83X6UEtO8w
We left home around 10 am to head out 2 hours north. It is a 110 mile drive from Oklahoma City. On the way there are beautiful farms. This time of season was for wheat, so there were a bunch of wheat farms along the country road. We reached the salt plains around 11:45 am. The roads leading into the salt plains are not paved, so it would be recommended to go in a vehicle with that can handle rocky roads. We were welcomed into the salt plains by a vast area of large plains, coated with salt. We went first to the selenite digging area. Be sure to bring water and sunscreen as there are no water fountains, and the sun shines directly on you. There are portable restrooms near the front, but that is the only place to use the restroom.
Getting out of the car, we walked to a free location for us to dig for crystals. We began digging with shovels we brought, and covered all of our belongings under a lawn chair to prevent it from flying away in the gusty winds. We made sure to bring a spade and two large shovels. Immediately, we found crystal shards after just digging a few inches. There is a layer of crystals under the salt, and you need to break the layer to get crystals to bring home. Be careful with the crystals; they are very sharp. Once you dig 1 foot under, you will strike water, and it will seep up into a pool in the hole. This is very cool to watch. We even made smiley faces in the salt for fun.
Great Salt Plains State Park
We spent around an hour at the selenite digging area and went to the Great Salt Plains State Park, which is twenty minutes away. Here, you will not see the salt flats, but you will see a peaceful area with a lot of trees, and the Great Salt Plains Lake. This lake has ¼ the salinity of the ocean, and is a wonderful place to relax. You can even boat there if you have your own boat.
We packed a lunch from home and ate it by the lake. Make sure to pack lunch from home because the nearest town is 30-45 minutes away and it is rather inconvenient. After lunch, we headed to other locations in the state park. There is a staggered dam on the other side of the park which you can walk alongside and down.
There are also other viewpoints, but there is nothing more than a 10 minute experience.
The Great Salt Plains area makes for an amazing day trip. When planned properly, this will create a fun experience!
Things to Remember
- Be sure to bring water everywhere
- Remember to apply sunscreen
- Remember to bring antibiotics for in case you get hurt by the crystals
- Remember to pack food from home because the nearest town is too far away
- Bring shovels and spades to dig
- Travel in a car that can handle rocky roads